Landlocked in east Africa, Uganda has a history of ethnic strife. Under President Museveni, steps have been taken to restore peace and to rebuild the economy and democracy.
Geography: Predominantly a large plateau with the Ruwenzori mountain range and the Great Rift Valley in the west. Lake Victoria lies to the southeast. Vegetation is of savanna type.
Climate: Altitude and the influence of the lakes modify the equatorial climate. Rain falls throughout the year; spring is the wettest period.
People and Society: The mostly rural population comprises some 13 main ethnic groups. President Museveni has worked hard to break down ethnic animosities, but a noticeable north–south divide persists, with most development in the south. After two decades of brutal conflict with northern rebels, a final peace deal has been mediated but not yet signed; many refugees have returned home.
The Economy: Resource-rich, but undeveloped and poor. Exports coffee, fish, tea, and flowers. Oil exploration. Hydroelectric power is reducing oil imports. Great potential from mining. Debt relief.
Insight: Lake Victoria is the world’s third-largest lake
Official Name: Republic of Uganda
Date of Formation: 1962
Population: 32.7 million
Total Area: 91,135 sq. miles (236,040 sq. km)
Density: 425 people per sq. mile
Languages: Luganda, Nkole, Chiga, Lango, Acholi, Teso, Lugbara, English*
Religions: Catholic 38%, Protestant 33%, trad. beliefs 13%, Muslim 8%, other 8%
Ethnic Mix: Baganda 17%, Banyakole 10%, Basoga 9%, Iteso 7%, other 57%
Government: Presidential system
Currency: New Ug. shilling = 100 cents